TORONTO -- The province is investing $50 million into Ontario's publicly-assisted colleges.

Advanced Education Minister Deb Matthews was at George Brown College in Toronto on Monday to announce the investment.

The government says the money will go toward "major initiatives that enhance student learning."

That includes specialized teaching software, new lab and shop equipment and efforts to modernize existing classrooms and labs.

The government also says some of the money will support the Northern Colleges Collaboration -- a partnership between northern Ontario's six public colleges with the goal of improving access to education in the North.

About 220,000 students are enrolled full-time at the 24 publicly-assisted colleges in the province.